Amendment could allow spending on military equipment and training to Africa and the Middle East. The EU is set to hand over funds earmarked for “peace building” and development to armed forces in Africa and the Middle East, overriding concerns from its legal services that such a move breaks the bloc’s laws.
Brussels is proposing to change the rules of its €2.4bn “Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace”, which normally focuses on programmes such as maternity healthcare in Syria, to allow funds to be spent on military equipment and training in developing countries.
The amendment will be put forward by the commission on Tuesday, and comes after heavy lobbying in favour of such a move by member states.
The draft proposal from the European Commission seen by the Financial Times states that these funds “may be used to build the capacity of military actors in partner countries” in some circumstances.
The EU has attempted to align its development policy with its foreign policy in recent years with an increased focus on security, in a move that has been welcomed by the likes of Berlin and Paris but sharply criticised by some human rights groups.